POINT PLEASANT — Farmers from all over the region will converge at the West Virginia State Farm Museum on March 22 for the 26th annual Agriculture Workshop.
Sponsored by the Western Conservation District (made up of Mason, Jackson and Putnam counties), the event is expected to draw more than 100 attendees, according to Sherry Pearson, conservation district manager. In addition to the included counties, the workshop also draws from Cabell, Roane and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Meigs and Gallia counties in Ohio.
“This workshop is so popular, I have people calling me wondering when it is,” Pearson added.
This year’s event will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 3:30 p.m., and will feature two speakers from Kentucky.
Dr. Glen Aiken has been a research leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS Forage, Animal Production Research Unit in Lexington, Ky., since 2013. He will speak at 2 p.m. on “Fescue Toxicosis: Impacts on the Animal.”
Dennis Chessman is the Southeastern U.S. Region team leader for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NRCS, Soil Health Division. His presentation on “Soil Health Advantages of Crop Rotations,” will begin at 1 p.m.
Other speakers and topics throughout the day will include Rodney Wallbrown, special projects coordinator with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, who will speak on vegetable crop rotation and the farm-to-school program; Bill Ragan, pesticide regulatory officer with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Division, who will speak on pesticide safety and private applicator rules; and Neil Bumgarner, of Cargill Feeds, who will speak on mineral rations. Mindy Thornburg, territory business manager with Zoetis Cattle and Equine Division, and Dr. Robin Falkner, managing veterinarian with Pfizer Animal Health, Cattle Technical Services, will also discuss pre-breeding vaccines for cows and heifers.
Pearson said several local programs will be explained as well, and those attending are eligible for continuing education credits. Lunch will be provided, free of charge, by the Western Conservation District and Farm Credit of the Virginias.
Those wishing to attend have until Tuesday to register by calling 304-675-3054. The Western Conservation District is located on First Street in Point Pleasant.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.